EghtesadOnline: From among 5.2 million console gamers in Iran, 63% prefer Sony PlayStation, 10% are enthusiastic fans of Microsoft Xbox while the remaining are either undecided or prefer handheld consoles made by Nintendo or Sony, results of a nationwide survey show.
Conducted by the Digital Games Research Center (DIREC) and published on its website (direc.ir), the survey indicates there are 5.2 million Iranian console gamers of which 90% are men.
DIREC said only 11% of the gamers play on handheld consoles, Financial Tribune reported.
Findings showed “76% of the console gamers are under the age of 20 and 21% are between 20 to 35 years old. Close to 90% of the gamers are single. The average age of console gamers is 17.”
It was revealed that 85% of console gamers live in urban areas. 71% do not have a high school diploma and 17% have “some degree of academic education”.
There are over 28 million gamers in the country and similar to most countries the preferred gaming platform in Iran too is mobile handsets.
According to DIREC.ir, 24.7 million Iranians play mobile games and there are 7.2 million PC gamers. Many of the gamers play on more than one platform.
Over the past two years, the number of console gamers in Iran increased 3.7% reaching 5.2 million.
In the past Iranian fiscal that ended in March 2018, Iran’s console gaming market turnover was $153 million. During the one year period, Iranians spent 965 billion rials ($26 million) on purchasing console games.
In the same year consoles worth 4.28 trillion rials ($116 million) were sold in Iran. The console gaming accessories market is estimated at 440 billion rials (11.9 million) in the country.
According to the survey, each gamer annually spends 590,000 rials ($15.9) for purchasing games. Some 32% buy the games and the remaining download pirated copies.
Note that the USD in this report has been converted at the average rate in fiscal March 2017-18 -- USD1= 37,000 rials.
According to the data, most Iranian console gamers (92%) play offline while 90% of them have access to the Internet.
Some 66% own at least one console while the rest play with devices owned by family or friends or go to “game nets”.
While many games can be played ‘solo’, most prefer to play in groups and normally online. About a decade ago and when Iran’s communication infrastructure was not developed and the Internet speed was slow, gamers were not able to play online. So they got together in gaming centers locally known as “game nets”, connecting computers via a local area network (LAN) and played in groups. The game nets usually have several sets of consoles.
The habit of gathering and playing at game nets has survived the introduction of speedy Internet services. In and around Tehran one can always find game nets packed with teenagers.
The report further indicates that 18% of the gamers play every day, while 64% at least play one day a week. On average, gamers spend 46 minutes playing on consoles every day.
The survey polled 8,000 people and has a 3-point margin of error. Sports, action, driving, shooter, and action-adventure are the top five popular console game genres.
The top five popular console games in Iran are PES, FIFA, GTA, Call of Duty, and Mortal Combat.